December 2, 2016

The best books of 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year -- when lists of the best books published in the last twelve months are everywhere you look, sparking conversation and lengthening to-read lists. NoveList is no different. Making "best of" lists is one of our favorite tasks, and one we on the NextReads team look forward to each year, carefully making notes from January through December on all the books that catch our eye or get talked about enthusiastically in meetings (or in hallways, the break room, over coffee…).

When it comes to the annual “best of the year” lists -- whether at NoveList or anywhere else -- there is always a huge amount of data to compile and mine. We look for a combination of high quality writing and strong reader appeal, but there’s also the list creator’s own opinions. Balancing our own preferences (100% Gothic fiction would suit me just fine) with the understanding that not all readers are alike (one man’s pleasure is another man’s pain) is a delicate process that can be both educational and enlightening.

My biggest fear is that I’ve completely missed something -- but that is where you come in! Have a look at our "best of" lists and let us know what we goofed and what we did right. Print them out and discuss with your book clubs -- maybe you’ll find suggestions you hadn’t considered. Let your kids and teens come up with their own lists, using ours as a jumping off point. Or, if you have LibraryAware, print out the flyers we’ve made (search for “best of 2016”) and post them around your library to encourage browsing.

This year, we created 22 different “Best of 2016” lists for all ages and in many different genres (for those who are counting, that’s one more than last year). Find them in the NoveList databases in the Recommended Reads lists, or by using this search to get them all: TI Best 2016 AND ND Recommended Reads.

Shauna Griffin is the NextReads/ADEPT Supervisor at NoveList.

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